Background: There has been little evaluation of school-located vaccination programs that offer human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in US schools without health centers (ie, extramural programs). This article summarizes lessons learned from such programs.
Methods: In July to August 2010, 5 programs were identified. Semistructured, in-depth telephone interviews were conducted with program representatives about practical aspects of planning and implementation, including configuration and effectiveness.
Results: Most programs offered HPV vaccine as part of a broader effort to increase uptake of adolescent vaccines. Respondents stressed the importance of building partnerships with local school systems throughout all aspects of the planning and implementation phases. All programs offered HPV vaccine at no cost to students. Most did not have a mechanism to bill private insurance, and some found Medicaid reimbursements to be a challenge. Programs achieved modest rates of initiation of the 3-dose HPV vaccine series (median 10%); however, among those who initiated the series, completion rates were high (median 78%). HPV vaccine uptake was lowest for a program that offered only HPV vaccine.
Conclusions: Extramural programs may increase uptake of vaccines and decrease absenteeism due to noncompliance with vaccine requirements for school entry. Until extramural programs in the US receive better access to billing private insurers and Medicaid, sustainability of these programs relies on grant funding. Better integration of extramural school-located vaccine programs with existing local healthcare and other programs at schools is an area for growth.
© 2013, American School Health Association.